McDonald’s Helps Youth Visit Brazil for FIFA World Cup

Jacob with Ronald McDonald
Jacob with Ronald McDonald

Nine-year-old Jacob, a North Hollywood resident, and Stonehurst Elementary student, has always dreamed about being on the pitch, and now, thanks to the McDonald’s Player Escort program, his dream will become a reality.

Jacob has been selected as one of only 26 young soccer fans from across the nation to attend the 2014 FIFA World Cup and walk hand-in-hand with a U.S. Men’s National Soccer Team player.

Jacob, who was surprised with the news at a special announcement by Ronald McDonald, will attend the U.S. Men’s National Team match against Portugal taking place in the City of Manaus on June 22nd.

Additionally, as a player escort, he will also have the opportunity to give back to his local community by securing a $1,000 grant for a local soccer organization of his choice to be announced upon his return from Brazil.

“I can’t believe I won! I can’t wait to go to Brazil with my dad,” said Jacob. “Walking out on the field with the U.S. National Team is something I will never forget.”

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“The Player Escort program is another way McDonald’s supports its commitment to children’s well-being, inspiring active play and celebrating kids’ passion for soccer,” said Clay Paschen, III, McDonald’s owner / operator and president of the McDonald’s Operators’ Association of Southern California (MOASC).

Globally, 1,408 children are chosen by McDonald’s to serve as Player Escorts and support their country’s players during the month-long tournament in Brazil, which starts June 12 and culminates with the championship match on July 13.

McDonald’s Player Escort program began in 2002 at the FIFA World Cup in South Korea / Japan. Since that time, McDonald’s has given more than 6,000 children from around the world the chance to lead a player into the stadium.

Additionally, McDonald’s has been a supporter of soccer at both the global and grassroots levels for more than 25 years. The company has served as an Official Sponsor and the Official Restaurant of the FIFA World Cup since the United States Tournament in 1994.

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Rakesh Raman